Construction of a timber-framed barn – dedicated to the memory of Old Bedalian Sam Banks, a keen and talented cricketer who died at the age of 20 – was completed in June 2013 and provides a stunning sports pavilion overlooking the Bedales astroturf pitch and the Dunhurst sports pitches.
Parents and students attending the Bedales Parents’ Association Midsummer Music Festival on 23 June 2013 enjoyed seeing and using the completed pavilion in all its glory.
Old Bedalians Matthew Rice, Gabriel Langlands and John Russell were instrumental in designing and constructing the sports pavilion. Members of the Bedales community, past and present, helped with the build, which included nailing down the cedar roof shingles and holding a 'topping out' ceremony - an ancient Scandinavian ritual to appease the spirits of the forest involving mounting an evergreen branch on the structure to symbolize growth and bring good luck.
The building was a culmination of fundraising efforts with contributions from the various activities of parents, students and Old Bedalians and the school is very grateful for all who have supported this project to make the pavilion a reality. A major contrubution came from the Bedales Parents' Association summer fundraising party in 2012.
Donations for the Sam Banks Memorial Pavilion were split between the pavilion (75%), and The Sam Banks Memorial Fund, a charity set up by his family (25%). This is providing bursaries for low income Bangladeshis to study photography at the Pathshala South Asia Media Academy in Dhaka. In order to complete the funding for the pavilion, the school made a significant contribution, both from its own resources and via funds received from a generous legacy.
More about The Sam Banks Memorial Fund
The Sam Banks Memorial Fund provides bursaries for low income Bangladeshis to study photography at Pathshala South Asia Media Academy in Dhaka. Just a week before he died, Sam had been delighted to receive news that he had been accepted to study Film and Television Production at the London College of Communication (LCC), so this project, enabling others to pursue their dream in this field seemed appropriate. The aim is to provide bursaries for one student per year on the three year course. The college has an excellent reputation and many Bangladeshi students go on to win international photography awards and pursue careers in journalism.
A message from Graham and Louise Banks:
“Sam was passionate about cricket and captained teams at both Dunhurst and Bedales. No built memorial to him could be more fitting than a pavilion overlooking the Dunhurst cricket pitch and we are extremely touched that the school has proposed this. Sam was to have gone to the London College of Communication to study film-making. He also loved his last three months in India. These two facts led us to set up a fund to enable talented young people in the Indian sub-continent from impoverished backgrounds to experience the kind of course which Sam would have taken, but at this pioneering academy in Dhaka.”